Monday, July 14, 2014

Forbes map shows where wealthiest US families are located

I use maps to show where organized volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs are located, and where they are most needed, based on indicators like high poverty, violence, health disparities, etc. My efforts intend to catch the attention of donors who have the ability to provide on-going operating dollars to support high quality programs in all neighborhoods.

Today I was encouraged to take a look at an interactive map on the Forbes.com web site showing locations of 180 billionaire families. See the map here.

Imagine how much more we could do to help young people in high poverty areas is just one of these familes in each part of the country adopted the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy and commitment, shown on this animation, and this concept map.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Create Map Stories following Negative News

Throughout this blog and the Tutor/Mentor Blog I show how maps can be created to focus attention and resources on places in Chicago where bad things are happening to good people.

Maps can be created using the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, or by using other map resources, such as this homicide map hosted by the Chicago SunTimes.

If you browse this blog you'll see other mapping platforms that can be used to create images for blogs and social media articles. These are tools that youth and adult volunteers could use in creating map stories that leverage the attention created by traditional media coverage of negative news. Such stories, if repeated over and over, could begin to motivate adults in different parts of the Chicago region (or in other cities) to provide the on-going flow of resources that are needed to create mentor-rich programs and learning opportunities for K-12 youth in neighborhoods where lack of opportunity contributes to lack of hope, which contributes to many of the negatives that are reported too often in the media.

See this album for map stories from the 1990s and this Map Gallery for stories from between 2008 and 2011.

If you're already creating map stories for the purpose of drawing resources to neighborhoods, point to this list of Chicago tutoring and/or mentoring programs as you call on leaders to provide resources so your stories are helping existing programs grow.

Share your stories with me on Twitter @tutormentorteam or on Facebook in this group.

Friday, May 2, 2014

How is the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator Supposed to Work?

If you've visited the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator recently you'll see that some features, such as the boundary overlays, the zip code overlay, and the political district overlays, do not work. We're also having trouble adding new program information. This is all a result of Google changing how sites like mine interface with their map, and the fact that I don't have any money, or tech talent, to fix the problem.

If you want to know how this should work, visit the Chicago Public Schools "School Locator" page. It may take you a while to figure out how this works, but on the left side is a label that says "political overlays". Click on any of these and you'll see political district outlines on the map.

Now on the Tutor/Mentor Program locator, you'd be able to use a drop down menu to zoom into a specific district or geographic areas. I don't see this on the CPS locator, but I really like the way the technology works.

Of course, having a great map-directory is only useful if many people are using the maps to tell stories that draw needed resources into school neighborhoods so families and schools have more help encouraging youth to become active learners who take a greater responsibility for their own learning, and their own futures.

If you are creating map stories using this information please post a link to this article so others can learn from how you are using the maps.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Using Multiple Data Sources

In the articles on this blog I've shown maps I've created using a desk top GIS mapping system, as well as the interactive Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator. However, this is just one of many resources that need to be used to build a better understanding of the comprehensive problems caused by where you live or where you were born. I feel there needs to be a generation of activists who create map stories, drawing upon all of these resources.

As I find new map portals I add them to the web library that I've been building since 1998. Then I write a blog article here, or on the Tutor/Mentor Blog, to draw attention to the resource.

The map at the left is from the 2014 Annie E. Casey Foundation report titled "Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children" Visit the web site and view the report, as well as a recording of a panel discussion held to announce the release of the report and discuss its findings.

This second map is from a Civil Rights Project report titled "New York State’s Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future"

This third image is from the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps web site, showing health disparities in Illinois counties.

Browse this blog and you'll find links to many other map resources. Visit this section of the web library for more examples of mapping and visualization.


Each of these web sites is a tremendous resource, but they only tell part of a story. If we're to build public will to solve the problems indicated in these reports, in all of the places shown on the map, we need a massive increase in the number of people telling map stories on a daily basis, connecting maps and data from many sources into stories that motivate more people to give time, talent, dollars and votes to solve the problems these reports show to be embedded in many parts of the country.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A little luck could go a long way

In 1997 I had to strokes of good luck. HSBC Worldwide selected my organization to share in its year-end holiday gift, which amounted to nearly $60,000. At the same time, an anonymous donor gave $50,000 to rebuild the GIS mapping capacity of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. As a result, this blog and all of the map stories created since 2008 were made available and the interactive Chicago tutor/mentor program locator was created.

Unfortunately that good luck was followed by seven years of bad luck, starting with the financial melt down that resulted in loosing HSBC support for our technology strategies, and ultimately, looking the funding to keep paying for a map maker and continued upgrades to the program locator technology, and then the 2011 decision of the Cabrini Connections Board to discontinue its support of the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy.

Despite all of this I've continued to publish map stories, build the network of support for tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and other cities, maintain a web library that records more than 9,000 visitors a month, and host a spring and fall Tutor/Mentor Leadership & Networking Conference in Chicago.

It's about time for some good fortune to come this way and maybe today will be the beginning.

Yet, while I seek financial and talent support for my own efforts, I know nearly 70% of the other tutoring and/or mentoring programs in Illinois are also seeking the same support. Thus, I keep pointing to the program locator, and this list of Chicago youth organizations, hoping they all have the luck of the Irish and receive the financial and talent support they need.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Create your own story maps - a tutorial

I started using maps to tell stories in 1993. Back then the technology to create a map story was beyond reach of most people and the distribution channel needed to get your map story in front of a desired audience was also closed to most people.

Much has changed since then. Here's an article on the GIS and Science blog showing how anyone can create their own map stories.

Here's a tutorial showing how to use the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator to create maps focused on helping volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in high poverty areas.

As you create your maps and share them on blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. share them with us via Twitter or by posting a comment on this blog.